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Scribes History Presentation


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Scribes History Presentation

  1. 1. The Importance of Scribes in Egypt and Mesopotamia Julia Sivers
  2. 2. Advice to Egyptian Scribes 13th -12th Centuries B.C.E  Ancient Mesopot amia & Egypt were t he f irst cult ures wit h a writ t en language.  Only a f ew people knew how t o writ e, so each cult ure designat ed scribes t hat were t rained t o writ e as a prof ession  The earliest writ ings include t ext s in which lit erat e skills are praised and in which yout h learning t o writ e are encouraged t o pursue t he career of a scribe.
  3. 3. Advice to Egyptian Scribes 13th -12th Centuries B.C.E  Amunemone, t he overseer of t he record keepers of t he t reasury of Pharaoh, spoke t o t he scribe Pent awere, af t er he heard t hat he had abandoned writ ing.  Amunemone t alked about how working in t he f ields was a dif f icult and dangerous j ob, and reminded Pent awere of t he bet t er lif e and superior st at us t hat belonged t o all scribes of t he t ime.
  4. 4. Advice to The Youthful Scribe 13th -12th Centuries B.C.E  Young scribes would copy passages of advice in order t o pract ice t heir writ ing.  “O scribe, do not be idle, do not be idle, or you shall be curbed st raight way. Do not f ive your heart t o pleasures, or you shall f ail. Writ e wit h your hand, recit e wit your mout h, and converse wit h t hose more knowledgeable t han you...”
  5. 5. The Hardships of the Soldier's Life 13th -12th Centuries B.C.E  Young scribes would also copy passages about how t he lif e of a scribe is bet t er t han t hat of any ot her worker.  “What is it t hat you say t hey relat e, t hat t he soldier' s is more pleasant t han t he scribe' s? Come, let me t ell you t he condit ion of t he soldier, t hat mush cast igat ed one. He is brought while a child t o be conf ined in t he camp. A searing beat ing is given his body, an open wound inf lict ed on his eyebrows...”
  6. 6. Dialogue Between A Mesopotamian Schoolboy and an Adult 18th Century B.C.E  Mesopot amian scribes, like Egypt ian Scribes, were also well- aware of t here special st at us in societ y.  St udent s would copy passages t o pract ice writ ing, such as t his one t hat was writ t en in t he Sumerian language.  “Adult : Young man, are you a st udent ?  Schoolboy: Yes, I am a st udent .  Adult : I f you are a st udent , do you know Sumerian?  Schoolboy: Yes, I can speak Sumerian.  Adult : You are so young; how can you express yourself so well?...”
  7. 7. Examining the Evidence  What does t he Mesopot amian st udent claim t o have already mast ered?  I n t he Dialogue passage, t he st udent claims t o have mast ered t he Sumerian language.  According t o t hese t ext s, why are scribes so import ant f or t he proper f unct ioning of societ y?  Scribes were so import ant in societ y because t hey were t he only people who had t he skill t o record import ant event s, document s, and t axes.  According t o t hese document s, why is t he lif e of a scribe superior t o t hat of ot her prof essions?  The lif e of t he scribe was superior because scribes had a higher st anding in societ y and a lif e of very lit t le physical labor.